With Belgium two goals down, Vertonghen netted a looping header from an acute angle to get his side back into the game.
Did he mean it? It was a memorable World Cup goal, and one pundit was quick to deride it as a fluke.
Former Arsenal and West Ham striker John Hartson said that he felt Vertonghen was trying to cross the ball with his header.
As a prolific header of a ball myself that was a fluke goal by Vertonghen looking to head it back across goal !— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) July 2, 2018
Vertonghen's goal lifted Belgium's spirits, and moments later Marouane Fellaini scored a towering heading to equalise.
Former Tottenham winger and current West Brom ace Nacer Chadli scored a winner in stoppage time to seal a 3-2 victory for Belgium after coming off the bench.
Vertonghen rarely scores, it was just his ninth goal in 105 international matches. It could not have come at a better time.